The detective dogs

in their black capes

never give up —

they sniff dunes, in pairs,

take the beach by surprise

telepathic crabs


the detective dogs

bite the fog of the sea-breeze


suicidal seagulls

sinister fish hatcheries

forests that meditate

the sea and its mantra

the crash of the waves

always different


they elucidate my

footprints on the sand

terrorist waves

suspect surfers

other dogs

throughout the afternoon

in search of clues


the detective dogs spy on

the beige silex of the dunes

the vertical, kamikaze fall

and splash

and never let themselves be misled

they are tramp detective dogs

they unleash clues that the waves hide

when they explode


stray dogs, detectives,

they make their rounds on the beach

and also know how to be sly

barking their enigmas

pressuring victims

hidden in the shoal

or disguised as humans


the detective dogs place themselves

in the skin of their prey

and don’t give up on the crabs

they find their alibis

in the lips of the waves

the only evidence

the beach and its necklace of pearls

the sea is a witness


they also have fun

with the southern wind


between their paws

eyes wide shut

when by day they retrace the footprints

the black dogs detect

the truth, rotten fish,

get up and keep on

until the afternoon turns itself in.


Rodrigo Garcia Lopes (Translated by Marco Alexandre de Oliveira)


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